Next to a barn find 89 GW

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Anvil-3
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Next to a barn find 89 GW

Post by Anvil-3 » Thu Dec 10, 2020 9:04 am

So In search for a Cherokee I stumbled on and quickly purchased an 89 grand wagoneer.

Image

While it wasn’t in a barn, it was right next to one since about 2005. 1 owner, 150k miles, after storing for a friend they received the title to just do whatever with it. It hasn’t ran or moved until I got it yesterday, it came with a reman transmission in the trunk too (assuming current trans is bad). A grand total of 4 rust spots, the typical front floor pans have silver dollar sized holes and one 1/4” rust hole next to the antenna along with leaky vent windows. Otherwise body and frame is immaculate! Once I got it trailered home I learned it brakes, rolls and turns well at least.

Strangely the dash and (perfect) headliner is tan but carpet, seats and door panels are burgundy? Is that a thing?

My goal here is to restomod this bad boy keeping it more or less original, but with a 3-4” lift and tires to match. I want to have fun family rig to take camping and through the snow and dirt trails, no more rock crawling for me. EFI is in the picture one day as well. This is a big project I’m excited for and I want to approach this correctly so I’m curious for advice. Unfortunately, winter in Massachusetts will limit what I can do until warmer weather comes, but below is my general plan of attack.

Inspection and assessment

1- Clean interior and engine bay
2- PB cylinders
3- Inventory loose parts
4- Remove interior, clean and dry
-Inspect and assess
5- Turn over engine (hopefully)
6- Inspect wiring, relays and switches
7- Brakes and wheel/axle bearings
8- Install battery and assess electrical
9- Drain gas tank
10- Oil change
11- Radiator flush
12- Attempt turnover with starter

Priorities after assessment
Seal in (Door/ window seals)
Driveline and brakes
Undercoating and corrosion prevention (sooner if warmer weather arrives)
Electrical/accessories
Suspension and tires
Trim and paint
Bougie stuff

Thanks for anyone’s advice or input. Excited to start on my first FSJ and create something to hopefully enjoy with family for many years


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Last edited by Anvil-3 on Thu Dec 10, 2020 9:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
1989 Grand Wagoneer - under the knife


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Anvil-3
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Re: Next to a barn find 89 GW

Post by Anvil-3 » Thu Dec 10, 2020 9:06 am

Image


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Topic author
Anvil-3
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Re: Next to a barn find 89 GW

Post by Anvil-3 » Thu Dec 10, 2020 9:08 am

Image


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Topic author
Anvil-3
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Location: Raleigh, NC

Next to a barn find 89 GW

Post by Anvil-3 » Thu Dec 10, 2020 9:08 am

Image

Also anyone have a decent tan seat set they want to trade for my burgundy ones?

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1989 Grand Wagoneer - under the knife

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freehold
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Re: Next to a barn find 89 GW

Post by freehold » Thu Dec 10, 2020 9:30 am

Wow! What a gift. Good for you for snapping it up and getting her back together. Can't wait to see your progress.
1987 GW, 202k miles, AMC 360 engine rebuilt 62k ago, all more or less bone stock
1997 Grand Cherokee ZJ, 244k and still going
When it rains, I drive an MDX


alex t
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Location: Watertown, MA

Re: Next to a barn find 89 GW

Post by alex t » Fri Dec 11, 2020 5:38 am

I'm in Massachusetts as well with a short window for working outdoors. Be patient and don't forget to enjoy the waggy even around town once you get her drivable. Look forward to seeing your updates from time to time. Good luck!
1987 Grand Wagoneer daily driver with 134,000 mi running strong
on the sidelines is a 401 with an Edelbrock aluminum high rise
intake manifold and four barrel carb on standby.


will e
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Re: Next to a barn find 89 GW

Post by will e » Fri Dec 11, 2020 4:33 pm

It looks pretty solid overall. Nice find and thanks for saving it!
81 Waggy 'WILL E' Retired
82 Cherokee WT - SOA/SF/high steer/Alcan springs/agr box/Borgeson steering shaft/AMC 401/performer/holley TA/HEI/BeCool/727/ALTAS (2.0/2.72/5.44)/D60 Snofighter(Yukon Zip,hubs,stubs,4.56)/14 Bolt (FF,BF shave, Discs, ARB,Artec Truss)/MTR 37X12.5/Corbeau XRS Baja & 5 point retractable harness/Hella Aux lights/tuffy console/killer32 sliders/Evil Twin bumpers, rack and roll cage/WARN 8000/TT Fabworks steering brace/dual batts/custom TC skid plate/ARB fridge


twisted frame
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Re: Next to a barn find 89 GW

Post by twisted frame » Fri Dec 11, 2020 10:24 pm

What a great find - especially in Mass! Frame is looking real nice. Sounds like the headliner and dash were reworked as I don't think that color combo with a burgundy carpet and seats was available. Maybe it was someone's neat idea at one point.
73 J4000. 360, MC 2100, T18A, D20, stock closed knuckle Dana 44 front, 60-2 rear. Warn Lock-O-Matics, Warn/Belleview electric winch, true duals with glasspacks, old-school front diff skid plate, used 265 Toyos on 16" AR wheels.


Topic author
Anvil-3
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Re: Next to a barn find 89 GW

Post by Anvil-3 » Sun Dec 13, 2020 2:03 pm

So after cleaning and digging through what I have, I swapped some newish looking switches with old ones that were in the vehicle (dash was half pulled so I suspected they began the job and never finished. After repairing about 12 wires of squirrel damage by the surge tank I got impatient and ran jumper cables to the battery cables (no battery) and went through a power on check.
Thankfully no fires! All exterior lighting was good and the rear window works from the key and switch! The drivers window works as well but no other door windows... any ideas what the culprit may be? The door locks also “work” as in they thud up and down, but don’t actually lock anything... hopefully some lube on the actuators will help once I pull door panels.


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Anvil-3
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Re: Next to a barn find 89 GW

Post by Anvil-3 » Sun Dec 19, 2021 7:31 am

12 month update, I have since gotten it to run, discovered bad head gaskets and water pump. Replaced them all as well as swapping the transmission for the “good as new” one that was in the trunk.

I got a sudden job offer that caused me to sell my house, stuff everything in the back of the jeep and store it at a friends for the better part of 9 months. Now I’m in NC and got it back and in my garage. Tied up some forgotten loose ends and she turned over for the first time in a long time, a few more checks off my list before sorting out the Holley Sniper and Robb MC surge tank I splurged on and let’s hope she can move on her own come spring time.

Previous owner also decided bondo was the best body repair and it hasn’t held up well… lots of body work after mechanical.

Image

Welcome home to a garage finally. Maybe one of these days we will find it a name too


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1989 Grand Wagoneer - under the knife


Texxxan
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Re: Next to a barn find 89 GW

Post by Texxxan » Sun Dec 19, 2021 11:21 am

Nice rig!!!


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Anvil-3
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Re: Next to a barn find 89 GW

Post by Anvil-3 » Sat Jan 01, 2022 8:57 am

[mention]Stukka [/mention] maybe I should be switched to build threads if you got a minute.

Progress finally with the sniper/hyper spark install. Working my way through with what I can while still waiting on the ignition box. Took me a long time to figure out TDC compression stroke on cylinder 1, but I got it with a pressure gauge and a few short cranks at a time. Only saw about 95psi but I’m going to assume it has to do with the engine being basically dry and cranking one go at a time.

Image

Out with the old coolant overflow tank and in with the chinesium one from Amazon to make space for the surge tank. I poorly fabbed a bracket to hold it level and got the low pressure lines all set up, as well as connecting it to the sniper harness.

I do need help figuring out what to use for the HP fuel lines as far as fittings and line type. I’m a little lost on that end.

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I’m search of switched ignition power I followed the TSM and someone else’s thread on here to what should be a red wire with a white trace that goes to the ignition box but is green for some reason. On BEEPY battery power the key does run a few volts through it…. But I’m also an idiot with a volt meter. Battery said 12 though.

I pulled out a large portion of the old ignition system harness to make things less confusing in there… it all is in good shape so I’m holding onto it I’m case someone needs it. I was confused by a couple things, there’s a wire that goes from the alternator directly to the old electric choke, green with a trace I believe, I was going to cut it out but I’m not sure. There’s also a ground that goes onto the intake manifold that I don’t know if I need anymore..

Image

I’m getting excited to get this thing running again. Really hoping the transmission I put in there is good, fingers crossed.

Ignition box is still a couple weeks from getting put in unfortunately so unlikely there will be any update for a little while


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Anvil-3
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Re: Next to a barn find 89 GW

Post by Anvil-3 » Mon Aug 01, 2022 2:23 pm

6 months later....

Runs great on the sniper and have been unable to get it to move under its own power... what I thought was a bad TQ converter or trans appears to be an overlooked linkage I think after months of troubleshooting I missed the 2-4wd linkage not have full throw.

Anyways, in going to use the opportunity of the transmission and transfer case being out to give them the proper attention of testing, inspecting and resealing that was not done before. It leaked like crazy due to being just tossed together. Hughes tq converter is on the way as well as some other goodies. I'll be updating again hopefully in about a month with some real progress once I get a chance to get back to work on this thing.
1989 Grand Wagoneer - under the knife

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devildog80
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Re: Next to a barn find 89 GW

Post by devildog80 » Mon Aug 01, 2022 2:54 pm

Very nice save :)

Wish my find that sat for 18 yrs out here in the desert was in that good of shape mechanically, but I am working on it slowly as well, and someday it will run on its own power too!
'81 CJ5 Base, 258 I6, MC2100, T176 4 spd, 300 TC, D30 Front NT, 3.31, 2-Piece AMC 20 rear NT, 3.31, 4" high arc spring lift
'84 Grand Wagoneer, 401 V8 (.030 over), MC2150 HA Comp, 727 auto, Selec-trac NP229, AMC 20 REAR - D44 FRONT - WT 3.31, 4" high arc spring lift
Rather be driving, than waiting to be modified


Topic author
Anvil-3
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Re: Next to a barn find 89 GW

Post by Anvil-3 » Mon Aug 01, 2022 6:39 pm

devildog80 wrote:Very nice save :)

Wish my find that sat for 18 yrs out here in the desert was in that good of shape mechanically, but I am working on it slowly as well, and someday it will run on its own power too!
Well good luck devil, looks like you have a deliberate build going on. Looks great!

Semper!


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Theodore
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Re: Next to a barn find 89 GW

Post by Theodore » Tue Aug 02, 2022 3:51 am

Hey, Anvil-3, Ive got a 90 GW that Im working on & have a sand-colored back seat in good shape worth considering. Also, have the fronts, but they’re in rough shape. PM me contact info, if interested & will send pix.
1990 Grand Wagoneer - "Theodore" - AMC 360, fuel-injected, TF727, NP229 - Sand Metallic - restoring to stock


Topic author
Anvil-3
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Re: Next to a barn find 89 GW

Post by Anvil-3 » Fri Aug 05, 2022 6:44 am

So the transmission looks to be in reman shape as claimed. Thanks to some guidance from forum members I have a Hughes TQ converter on the way and I think the trans should be all settled other than some attention to the linkages.

The transfer case however didn’t seem to operate right the more I played with it and after getting into the drain plug I found “sub-optimal” conditions
Image

Metal, plastic and magnetic goop. So the tear down began and the range fork looks worn to death.. Not sure if the part it goes to should be replaced too

Image

Also the input thrust bearing is just AWOL, not sure if one led to the other but I’ll replace both along with some seals and bearings while I’m in there and hopefully we can start getting things back together. My main concern is if there’s case damage.
Image

Where the input thrust washer sits is significantly recessed. Not sure if it’s a seat or bad wear… anyone know what this should look like?


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Anvil-3
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Re: Next to a barn find 89 GW

Post by Anvil-3 » Sun Aug 07, 2022 6:37 am

After a quick bench test of the viscous coupler I couldn't even pull 10'# of force on there so that's a major fail. Due to money and time I just want to get the jeep rolling. I found some info on an old IFSJA post about being able to pin the VC so that it essentially acts like a np228 with only part time 4wd. Has anyone done this? Does this hold up?

This will likely never see more than a casual dirt trail and just stay in 2wd. I would think this could be acceptable for a while until I can upgrade to a totally new case in coming years.
1989 Grand Wagoneer - under the knife

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Stuka
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Re: Next to a barn find 89 GW

Post by Stuka » Sun Aug 07, 2022 8:28 am

While the spec is 25, if you are seeing ten that means it still functions. And you can drive around in AWD without any real issues.

If the VC totally fails, it just acts as an open differential, like the 228 or 242. You won’t hurt anything by driving it.
2017 JKU Rubicon Lifted and stuff
Pevious Jeeps: 1981 J10, 1975 Cherokee, 2008 JK, 2005 KJ, 1989 XJ


Topic author
Anvil-3
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Re: Next to a barn find 89 GW

Post by Anvil-3 » Sun Aug 07, 2022 9:24 am

Stuka wrote:While the spec is 25, if you are seeing ten that means it still functions. And you can drive around in AWD without any real issues.

If the VC totally fails, it just acts as an open differential, like the 228 or 242. You won’t hurt anything by driving it.
So I could turn it by hand, couldn’t register on my tq wrench. I just pinned it which is reversible.

Could you clarify that a little? Like would any free spinning wheel cause me to lose power? From my understanding with the pinned coupling it would be like a 231 and I’m locked in at 50/50 power between front and rear, while still having my open differentials for slippage between wheels on the same axle


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